All posts by Christopher Douglas

The Queen’s Eulogy (the orchid beauty shop) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Joella Crichton in The Queen's Eulogy

Staged in a loading dock behind a dormitory, the orchid beauty shop ‘s production of Rachel Ganz’s The Queen’s Eulogy is without a doubt of the strangest plays at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival. An absurdist piece set in a futuristic world of garbage, there is a faint whiff of its inspiration Pygmalion amid the manic dialogue and bizarrely naïve characters as red wine simply rains down from the sky.

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Women of the Fur Trade (Vault Projects) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Erica Wilson, Frances Koncan, Erin Meagan Schwartz in Women of the Fur Trade

Normally I’m skeptical of shows where the writer is also the director, the stage manager and the designer. But Frances Koncan proves no trepidation is necessary. Women of the Fur Trade is a bold ironic piece presented by Winnipeg-based Vault Projects.

Then again, it is also the winner of the Toronto Fringe Festival‘s Best New Play Contest, so it shouldn’t really surprise me that it’s a wickedly subversive comedy about feminism and Louis Riel.

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Prank (Thundermind Theatre and DutchGirl Productions) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Cydney Penner and Christel Bartelse in Prank

Funny though this play is, if you know nothing about the internet and the celebrities it creates, Prank might not be the show for you at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival. However, if you’re reading this review now, you have probably figured out something about the internet already.

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Space Hippo (Wishes Mystical Puppet Co.) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Space Hippo

This Toronto Fringe Festival, no show has wowed me more with its whimsy, humour and visuals than Space Hippo by The Wishes Mystical Puppet Company.

I mean, with only five years left on the planet before it succumbs to climate change, what else should humanity do to save itself than send a hippo into space? Yup, that’s the incredible premise for this mostly shadow puppetry presentation.

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Under the Knife (Two Planks) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Cast of Under the Knife

The ambitious new play Under the Knife by Brandy Baker, mounted by Two Planks, debuts at the Randolph Theatre as part of the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival. With a cast of seven playing twelve roles, an eighty-five minute running time, and nearly twenty scenes, the scale of the production doesn’t always live up to its aspirations.

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Here Me (aestrider) 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival

Photo of Amelia Nyla Jakaša in Here Me

Here Me : a play on the homonym hear/here. A comment on how performer Amelia Nyla Jakaša wants your attention. A focus on the audience being present in the room. This essentially wordless show about communication and connection produced by aestrider is one of the most unique experiences you’ll have at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival.

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Mrs. Mama’s House (SomeCompanyTO) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

photo of the Bata Shoe Museum

This one is tricky for me: I wanted to love Mrs. Mama’s House . From the site-specific description SomeCompanyTO provided to the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival, it promises to be “nursery rhyme magic with a Grimm twist” at the Bata Shoe Museum. And all those details appeal to my whimsical sensibility, but this show isn’t one size fits all.

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The Last Party (Next Step Productions) 2018 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of poster design for The Last Party

Imagine getting married to your partner weeks before you succumb to brain cancer. Now imagine experiencing that as a musical. Odd pairing of subject matter to style, right? But that’s what The Last Party from Next Step Productions offers us at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival in this near-tearjerker.

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